Today, I looked at my students as they were leaving and couldn't help thinking how truly I blessed I am to be doing a job I love. When I decided to go to college (after many years of staying home with my children and even my grandchildren!), I felt a little foolish. Many people encouraged me, but some people told me I was just a little too old and had been out of school just a little too long to expect anything other than failure from my efforts to follow a dream I'd had since childhood. But, I plunged on ahead. It was hard because I was just a little too old and had been out of school just a little too long, but guess what? I did not fail! I am a teacher today because I didn't let those few stop me from daring to believe I could achieve!
Now, the question is: Where would I be today if I'd not become a teacher?
In the thirteen years I've been teaching, I experienced a dreadful, life-changing event in my personal life. The most difficult thing I've ever had to face was the death of my son. He died in a hunting accident -- alive one minute and gone the next. It happened in my fifth year of teaching and in my second year with my first looping students. The love and support of those wonderful children and their caring parents made my life bearable. I leeched off the energy of my students. I lived to teach them. I found my purpose in serving them. Where would I be if it were not for teaching? I thank God I'll never have to know the answer to that question.
I just read a post written by JKB that got me thinking about all this. She talked about personal challenges and how they sometimes cause us to delve more deeply into and derive more pleasure from doing the professional things we love. To the outsider we teachers may appear to be a tad driven, a smidge obssessed, a teeny bit overboard. But, think about it. Where would we be without teaching?
Thank you for sharing that part of your life. What a tragic loss.
Your reflections on how teaching has "saved" you really touched me. At this point in my life, teaching IS my life. I do not have children yet, so teaching is really my first priority behind my husband. I know that this profession is special though, and your post reminded me of how precious it is and how lucky we are to have found our ways to it.
You really touched me. I just happened to get to this part of proteacher. I did not even know there was such a "blog" space. I often think of my two lives that live side by side. #1 Family at home #2 family at school. I often tell the students this in the beginning of the year and refer back to it. I say we are like a family living together. Getting to know each other, caring about each other and helping each other. Many times I stop whatever is going on in class when I see two students not getting along and try to get everyone involved. Showing them they always have a choice to do the right thing. It takes time but with perserverance they learn to really care about each other and me them. My last year's class was such a challenge but though it took them a long time to really care about each other they all cried when the year was over! I loved that! it was worth all the reminders "We don't spit at each other" or "We don't have sticky fingers and take someone else's snack". I look forward to see what my new class will be like. 9/5 is just around the corner!
J.Elaine, I am so very, very sorry to hear about your son. I lost an infant son, years ago, and that was terribly difficult. However, it had to be far more intense for you, considering that you raised him and then lost him in such a tragic way.
Teaching.....and all that goes with it.....is like a beacon of life and hope to me, when things appear to be their darkest. There is nothing that I can think of that is more heart warming than the face of a child who "understands" when they were struggling over something.
Where would I be without teaching? There would be a big void inside of me......something would definitely be missing!
I've decided to try and blog.....hoping that I can reflect on what I do, how I do it, and why........I'm just waiting for it to be set up....
I'm glad you have decided to blog. It didn't take very long at all for them to email me after I submitted my request for a blog page, so you'll be up and running before long!!!!
I wanted to blog to reflect on what I do, why I do it, what I want to do next, etc., and it seems as though blogging is bringing out a sort of nostalgic side of me I wasn't sure I wanted to reveal. I wondered if sharing about my son would be just too heavy for this forum, but then I decided to go ahead post the message because it was what was on my mind and heart yesterday.
I can't wait to begin reading what you have to share. I definitely look forward to adding your blog address to My Page.
Today was our second day of inservice. We've covered everything from typical new school year items, to taking attendance online, to reviewing an online presentation and take a quiz for blood pathogens!
After all that, I had meetings about my incoming Special Needs children. A couple of them have some really tough challenges to overcome, so now I am scrambling to decide what I can do to help them. One child was recommended for retention in June....parents signed consent, and then came back a week ago to overturn their consent. Both his general ed. and special ed. teachers from last year said he is, by no means, ready for the demands of 3rd grade, as he is on a K-1 level. Does anyone have a magic wand I can borrow?.....if only it were that easy! I haven't even met the child yet, and I am already worried about him.
After all the inservice today, I went back to my room to work for a bit. I still don't have my books sorted the way I want them. They are sitting neatly on the bookcases, but not arranged to my liking. We had a new custodial crew this year. They worked their hearts out cleaning, but when it came to bookcases, they removed the books, cleaned the shelves and then just neatly put them back.....in no particular order. (This is the first time my bookcases were cleaned like this.......so I am thankful for their extra efforts, even though it is not the way I want them to be arranged.) I am thinking that since time is of the essence, I might make this a classroom project....organizing them...instead of "before school starts" project. If nothing else, my dishpans will be ready.....
The other problem is that I am getting an over abundance of GREAT ideas from pt......and when I think I would like to try some of them....I have to figure out WHERE I can put them! My room is filling up fast! As it is, I took down my "clothes line" that I display student work....and moved it to 3 different places today! It still isn't giving the effect I want. My fault......the wall that it used to hang in front of has been "transformed" into a couple of other new projects!
Tomorrow......no more inservice for awhile......just working in my room. Right now, it seems my biggest obstacle is to stop changing my mind!
Hmmmm........does this sound like a "practice blog"?
You know what, JKB?
As I was reading your message, I was thinking it sounded very much like you were blogging!!!! You were just reflecting your little heart out.
I have several challenges much like the one you mentioned. I have a little child who has been homeschooled and is very far behind in most every way. I have one who does not want to come to school, so she doesn't. We have some diligent social workers who are getting her to school no matter what it takes -- late or not. I have several who are not reading at grade level. So many needs. It's an awesome responsibility when you realize that all these students (and their parents) depend on us to meet their individual needs. I know you are up to the challenge, JKB. You will get your room pulled together, you'll see. You know what I've noticed? When it's time to start and the children are coming down the hall, we will be ready. No matter how much more we would have liked to have gotten done before they arrived, we are ready when they cross the threshold of our rooms. If we had six more days or hours or minutes, we could think of 100 more things to do, but when the children come in, we are ready!!!! It's amazing the way that works! Hang in there. You can do it!!!
I was just browsing through some of the things we all wrote to one another, and I meant to say something to you earlier that I neglected. I am truly sorry about the loss of your infant son. The loss of a child is devastating no matter what the age. Anyway, I just wanted you to know I was thinking of you.
Thank you for your kindness! It happened many years ago, and he is rarely even mentioned in conversation with family and friends who lived through that difficult time with me. Yet, as a mother, I will never forget. Through the years, I've lost others that were near and dear to me.....my dad, my brother-in-law, favorite Aunt....but I still have many treasured memories that I will hold fast all the days of my life. Each passing is difficult, to say the least, but somehow I've grown to learn that "inch by inch is a cinch, but mile by mile is a trial." So, when those challenges occur, I just take baby steps until I can cope with the loss. Each time, I am reminded that life is fragile and should be handled with care! I think that is one of the reasons why I love teaching so much........children have their fragile aspects, too......and teachers can help them grow in so many ways!
Am I blogging again????? Still waiting for the email to get started.......probably won't be much longer! JKB
Your words touch and inspire me. Today, I've been just a little emotional -- tears inside there somewhere just ready to spring out!!! I think I really just need sleep!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey, you ARE blogging!!!! I wonder what's holding up your blog assignment? I guess I just happened to get my request in at the exact right time because I heard back from them the next day. However, I just wasn't smart enough to figure out you had to click on the little "post message" icon before I could type in a message!!!!!!!!! BookMuncher tried to help me figure out what was wrong, but of course she didn't know I hadn't clicked on the icon, so how could she help??? By the time I finally figured it out, a couple of days had passed which made it seem like it took a long time before I started blogging!
Be sure to let us all know once you get started, so we can read all about what's happening in the life of JKB!
I got an email from pt........said the person who sets up the blogs is on vacation until September 2nd............then, they will get it started..........more to come soon!
I understand that "emotional" inside feeling........have experienced it a lot, actually.....but then, I need sleep, too!....we just have to hang in there...and hope this holiday weekend is restful (whatever restful means? ).....at any rate..it's nice to have found supportive friends on pt......thanks for your inspirations!..~smile~!
Your message has been truly inspirational! I too, have my share of gray hair. I began teaching in 1969 and taught until my children arrived. I took some time off but returned when my children entered school. I can not imagine doing anything else with my life. My husband says I have a passion for teaching and I guess he is right! I am so sorry for your loss. We should be so thankful for the gift of knowing where we belong...not many have that! Have a great year!
Without a passion for teaching, I don't know how a person would be able to do all the work involved!!!!! I should be grading papers right now!!!!!!!!!
Now about that gray hair thing . . . My brother had white hair when he was in his thirties, and mine started turning about that same time for me. I had totally white/gray all the first 11 years I taught -- had never colored my hair in my life. Then one day, it hit me. Why not try the color thing. I finally found a stylist who didn't want to make my hair as dark as my natural color, so I decided to go for it!!!! And . . . I've been a blonde for the last 2 years. I guess I'll be one of those little old ladies who goes to the salon every month or so to get their new growth covered!!!!!
Me too...I am usually not a vain person and will ignore a broken nail to spend a couple of more moments in my classroom. However, I have had the hair colored religiously since the first gray appeared. Guess, I am not ready to see gray. My husband is salt and pepper now, and teases me on my lack of gray...ha.......support hose is one thing, (ha) but gray is another.